Starting an e-commerce website is not an easy task. While it may seem simple, there’s plenty for you to consider. Before even creating content and product listings, you’ll need to choose your site’s theme. Selecting the right one can significantly impact your branding, customer retention and sales.
This article will examine why choosing a good e-commerce theme is crucial for your website. Then we’ll go over what you should be looking for in your theme. Finally, we’ll discuss three places to find the ideal option for your site. Let’s get into it!
Why Choosing the Right E-Commerce Theme Is Important
Your e-commerce theme is vital to the online success of your company. It determines the general appearance and layout of your website.
At the basic level, your website needs to convert visitors into customers if you want to make money from your online store. User Experience (UX) greatly influences that conversion rate.
Good UX design can bring users back to your website and leave them with a good impression of your business, while bad UX will do the opposite. In fact, 58% of people stop doing business with a company because of poor customer experience.
A well-designed e-commerce theme can instantly capture a shopper’s attention. It will serve not only as a showcase for your products but who you are as a brand. First impressions matter; creativity, consistency and simplicity will go a long way to leaving customers with the best possible impressions of your business.
For instance, a well-designed e-commerce site will display a company’s branding while showcasing its products and offers front and center:
Beyond design, the technical aspects of your e-commerce website are also important. Mobile sales account for almost 45% of U.S. e-commerce sales. Additionally, users with negative experiences on a mobile website are 62% less likely to purchase from that business in the future. The importance of a responsive e-commerce theme can’t be overstated.
Moreover, choosing a high-performance theme is essential. Most e-commerce conversion rates occur on pages with load times between 0 and 2 seconds.
An e-commerce store is likely to have image-heavy content, and delivering it in the fastest possible time is crucial to retaining customers. Longer page load times drastically increase bounce rates on both full and mobile websites. They can also negatively affect your Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
What to Look for in an E-Commerce Theme
E-commerce stores have unique needs and demands. They need to integrate seamlessly with shopping plugins such as WooCommerce. Plus, your online shop needs seamless checkouts and clean product displays to show off your goods.
Furthermore, designing your store right the first time is essential. Changing your theme and appearance can confuse your customers and weaken your overall branding.
As one of the first impressions on your customers, your website theme should reflect your brand and look personalized. Ideally, the design should be subtle and simple, providing a backdrop to your information and products:
These elements are all part of good UX. A flexible WordPress theme will enable you to implement design best practices.
We’ve already briefly touched on how essential responsiveness is in this era. Users access the internet in various ways, from the immense screen sizes of televisions and Virtual Reality (VR) headsets to cellphones and tablets.
A theme optimized for different screen sizes is essential. After all, over half of U.S. users prefer to do their shopping via mobile devices, and 57% say they wouldn’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile website.
You may think using a custom theme is the easiest way to build your e-commerce website. The advantage, of course, is that the site will look exactly as you want.
However, this approach drastically increases costs, as you’ll likely need help whenever you wish to make changes. Therefore, we recommend opting for a customizable e-commerce theme instead.
3 Places to Find Your Ideal E-Commerce Theme
Now that you know some factors to consider, you can start looking for your e-commerce theme. Here are three of the best places to find the right e-commerce theme for your website!
The most obvious place to start is WordPress itself. If you’re already using the Content Management System (CMS) for your online store, you can take advantage of thousands of e-commerce themes:
You can easily filter the themes to find what you’re looking for, with something on offer for almost everyone. There are over 1,700 themes tagged for e-commerce, with many aimed at specific businesses such as clothing stores or electronics shops.
For example, YITH Proteo is a fast and fully customizable e-commerce theme with a minimalistic design, perfect for any kind of store:
There are advanced front-end customization options fully integrated with WooCommerce. Plus, YITH Proteo is fully responsive and compatible with the YITH range of plugins.
Sometimes, you might find a theme that fulfills all your requirements but isn’t optimized for WooCommerce. You can get around this by going directly to WooCommerce. The platform offers 49 themes, all designed with e-commerce in mind:
Using WooCommerce is, of course, a prerequisite for the themes. While there may not be a wide range of choices, you can choose from various styles and features to suit different business types. Like WordPress, some themes are geared toward certain types of online stores, like beauty or travel.
The most popular and well-known theme is Storefront. The theme is free and built by WooCommerce’s core developers. Storefront is responsive, e-commerce-focused, accessibility-ready, and includes a range of optional paid extensions:
While Storefront is free, most of WooCommerce’s other themes are paid on a subscription model billed annually. You should keep this in mind if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option.
Finally, ThemeForest is a marketplace that features thousands of premium WordPress themes. It’s easy to use, with a vast selection of e-commerce options:
The range of products on offer from Theme Forest can be overwhelming. The pricing is generally cheaper than WooCommerce, featuring one-off payments rather than a subscription model. Additionally, the quality and level of support are often high.
Flatsome from UX Themes is ThemeForest’s best-selling WooCommerce theme. It features fast speeds with a focus on UX. Moreover, the theme has a responsible page builder for creating websites without coding:
However, it’s worth noting that quality is not always consistent on Theme Forest. Some themes may feature inefficient coding or a lack of updates.
Most Theme Forest themes cost from $16 to $99, with a few exceptions. Extended licenses can also raise the price.
Using the right e-commerce theme can significantly impact your online business’s success. Appearance, UX and speed can leave a lasting positive or negative impression on your customers. Therefore, considering those factors before selecting a theme can help your company get the best online start.
Do you have any questions about choosing the right e-commerce theme? Let us know in the comments section below!